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Human Rights and Democracy:

We Can All Do Better

Sophal Ear, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
Salzburg Global Seminar-Freeman Foundation Symposium
18 June 2012
The views expressed do not reflect the views of the Department of Navy or the Department of Defense.
Indicators 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Average
Net official
assistance and
official aid
received (current
million US$)
395.72 420.88 485.24 518.31 485.37 535.60 529.37 674.58 742.84 721.43 736.70 567.82
received (% of
N/A N/A 120.7 119.8 111.2 112.1 84.7 95.2 83.8 62.8 58.1 94.3
received (% of
11.2 11.0 11.8 11.6 9.5 8.9 7.6 8.2 7.5 7.3 6.9 9.2
received per
capita (current
31.8 33.3 37.8 39.8 36.8 40.1 39.2 49.3 53.7 51.6 52.1 42.3
Tax revenue (%
of GDP)
N/A N/A 8.2 7.5 8.1 7.9 8.2 9.7 10.6 9.7 10.1 8.7
excluding grants
(% of GDP)
N/A N/A 10.3 9.4 9.8 9.7 9.8 11.2 12.5 11.1 12.2 10.5
CPIA efficiency
of revenue
rating (1=low to
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
What are human rights?
What are human rights?
human rights plural of human right
Noun: A right that is believed to
belong justifiably to every person.
Asian human rights?
right to get cheap medicine and proper medical care, the
right to equal market access for developing country citizens,
the right to be free of the disasters created by speculators
and other unscrupulous traders, the right to protection of
forests and control of fishing and the right to protecting our
environment as a whole. The list can go on.
M.D. Nalapat (China Daily)

US' human rights violations
By Eric Sommer (China Daily)
Updated: 2012-03-26 08:07
Western wrongs and human rights
By M.D. Nalapat (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-03-16 07:54
US, stop acting as guardian of human rights
By Huang Xiangyang (
Updated: 2010-03-12 23:22
Don't point finger at China on human rights
By Zhu Yuan (
Updated: 2010-03-12 16:06

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Or perhaps we should define human
rights by looking at human wrongs
The days of blowing up the
relationship over a single guy are
Unnamed US Official
Chen isnt just one guy, he is a
symbol of thousands and thousands
of other people who are trying to
exercise their legal rights to seek
change in what is, in many ways, an
abusive status quo.
Phelim Kyne, Human Rights Watch
The comment reflects a serious misconception that has hampered United States-
China policy for years. Chen Guangcheng, like other people who stand up to
abuse in China, is not a single guy. Mr. Chens rights advocacy has earned him a
considerable following in China, and last month his dramatic escape expanded
that following many hundreds of times.
And what exactly is the relationship that American officials value and this single
guy threatens? It is the United States governments relationship with Chinas
power elite.
For decades Americas managers of China policy have accepted the implicit
demand of Chinas rulers that they, and only they, are China. In diplomatic lingo,
the Chinese view on anything trade, Taiwan, Tibet, Syria, cyberwarfare, even
human rights is the view of the ruling circles, no matter how much it might
diverge from currents in popular thought.
The more than a billion non-elite Chinese also deserve attention; public, dignified
support for their aspirations would be a good start. Where will our relationship
be if, someday, Chinas ruling group goes the way of other repressive
authoritarian regimes and is no longer there?
Riverside, Calif., May 15, 2012
The writer, professor emeritus of East Asian studies at Princeton University, now
teaches at the University of California, Riverside.
What is democracy?
What is democracy?
Noun: 1. A system of government by the whole
population or all the eligible members of a state,
typically through elected representatives.
2. A state governed in such a way.
Poor Mexico, so far from
God and so close to the
United States.
Former President
Porfirio Daz
There is no more noble endeavour
than the fight for social and global
justice, and for peace and
Mark Malloch Brown
The Responsibility to Protect is a new
international security and human rights
norm to address the international
communitys failure to prevent and stop
genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing
and crimes against humanity.
RWANDA: 800,000-1,000,000
BOSNIA: 200,000+
DARFUR: 300,000+
But you need not
look beyond Asia.
North Korea
Police Beating Khmer Kampuchea
Krom Monks
Three Years Earlier:
Murder of Labor Leader
Chea Vichea
Murders happen all over the world.
Even the US cant stop them. They flew
an airplane into the World Trade Center
and many Americans died, but they
never asked the President to step down.
One or two people die here and they
want me to resign.
PM Hun Sen
The Case of Boeung Kak Lake: 20,000
People Affected (3,000 to 4,200
Chut Wutty and 14 Year-Old Girl
"I'm so sorry about the death of the girl
during the crackdown, but the girl's death
is not as serious as the deaths in the mis-
targeted bombardments in Afghanistan
that killed many people under the pretext
of killing Al-Qaeda and Taliban. Why is
there no condemnation there? Why do
they condemn only Cambodia? It is time
to understand Cambodia. Don't attempt
to educate others while you, yourself,
commit ugly things."
PM Hun Sen
We Can All
Do Better
And we can
begin here, in
Salzburg, with
what Clemens
Heller called a
Marshall Plan
of the Mind.
Thank you.